Family Business Part 8

Family Business Part 8

The ramifications of Lorenzo’s 50th continue to be felt throughout Family Business and a business trip to China has an unexpected outcome.  Meanwhile Sophia’s planning to use Lorenzo’s absence as a good opportunity to go through the books thoroughly.  What’s she going to find?

                                                                          Family Business Part 8

To: Laura
From: Rosa
Date: 1st Dec

Subject: Oudoor Furniture Show – China

Dear Laura

Sorry for the silence – Advent has started with a bang here and you wouldn’t believe the number of School things I’ve had to attend already – what with the Christmas Fayre, a parent’s social night out for each of the boys’ year groups, plus a Christmas carol concert and the Xmas play (x2). I’m surprised they don’t offer boarder’s rates to parents for December.  I think they’d make a bomb!

Ha, yes!  I checked in with Nick and they are all staying at the Holiday Inn.  Obviously he hadn’t met Charlie before and has no axe to grind, so they got on fine.  Two men of the world who love a bit of management speak etc, etc.  Also, Nick’s spent quite a bit of time down under; he had a gap year travelling round Australia and he adores cricket and rugby so it’s a match made in heaven really.

He said Lorenzo looked like an affronted owl when he first met them in the lobby but he’s thawing 😉 Basically if he doesn’t kiss and make up with Nick, there’s no one else out there to talk to and he’ll be stuck with his own company for a week.  Worst still for him, he’s been trying to give Charlie a bit of a cold shoulder since he didn’t really want him on the trip in the first place.  He seems to think Charlie’s cramping his style!  But with Charlie and Nick getting on famously, Lorenzo’s been forced to be magnanimous – or go mad.  As you know, our big brother does like the sound of his own voice, but even he requires an audience from time to time.  Perhaps this trip will finally put paid to Garden Furniture Wars and we’ll all be one happy family again?

Oh you’ll like this – apparently when Nick turned up to see one of his suppliers, he discovered that Lorenzo’s been using the same firm but paying more for his chairs.  You know those Chinese factories, they’re totally untrustworthy – always promising exclusivity and then trading with your rivals.  Well, Nick said he’d had a pretty good idea that Edge’s Outdoor Furniture must be buying from this guy because he recognized the stock on the website, but Lorenzo had absolutely no idea that he’d been duped until he saw some packaging marked up for Sunshine Furniture.  According to ‘Susie’, the Chinese warehouse manager, he went completely mental – shrieking his head off and kicking boxes.  Made an utter fool of himself.  Susie needs a bit of explanation too – yep, it’s a bloke.   You know how all the Chinese pick English monikers to help with communication?  Well, years back Mr Chung chose Susie, not realizing it was a girl’s name.  Now he knows, but he’s been in business for 20 odd years, so it’s too late to change.  Bliss, isn’t it?

According to Charlie, who told Flora, who told me and mum with great glee, Charlie had to dig deep into his diplomatic pockets to preserve the business relationship with Susie’s factory.   And, by coming clean to Nick, they agreed to buy together, therefore knocking the price down for both of them.  Lorenzo didn’t like it – it goes against everything he stands for to get into bed with the enemy – but even he can’t argue at a price reduction.  Mum was ecstatic with Charlie and keeps on reliving the story; she phoned me to tell me all about it, saying Charlie’s the future of the firm – a chip off the old block etc, etc.

Nick gets back on Thursday so I expect you’ll have heard more about the trip from Lorenzo and Charlie by then.  They’re back tomorrow aren’t they?

Love Rosa

Xxx

                                                                        Family Business Part 8

To: Rosa

From: Laura

Date: 3 Dec

Subject: Entente Cordiale!

Dear Rosa

The chaps got back late on Tuesday and I only really caught up with them this afternoon.  What’s this about a family Christmas at your place???  I hope Nick’s warned you!

Charlie told me that Lorenzo, he and Nick got rip-roaringly drunk on their final night together.  They were so fed up with all the soft shell crabs they’d been served everywhere that they blew the budget on a fabulously expensive new international restaurant that specializes in steaks, Australian style.  It would appear that far, far too much Ozzie Shiraz was consumed with the result that Nick and Lorenzo ended up in each other’s arms.  Nick ended up inviting everyone for Christmas in Suffolk – and Lorenzo accepted the offer on behalf of mum, Paul, Juno & myself, Massimo & Poppy, Flora and Charlie.  Why he thinks he can answer for the rest of us, god alone knows!

Anyhow, while it sounds blissful (ha, ha!) (no seriously, you know I’d always rather spend Christmas with you than anyone else), I’m afraid we’ll have to decline the invite.  This rotten leg makes me rather immobile.  I think I’d be better off here at home with all my things around me.  Actually, Paul’s back on the 22nd Dec and I’m longing to move back to our own house.

Oh, Charlie told a wonderful story about Lorenzo on the flight back.  He misread the in-flight shopping brochure and thought they were selling bottles of gin and whisky for £4.00.  He got very excited and ordered 2 of each – only to discover that that was the price for a miniature!  He won’t wear his glasses but he clearly needs them – the vain twit!!

Anyhow, they came back to a bit of hoo-ha here but I’ll need to explain that right from the beginning.  It’s all got very involved.  Suffice to say, if you get a phone call from Flora or Lorenzo bending your ear about the business, don’t be surprised!

All for now, Laura xxx

 

                                                                        Family Business Part 8

To: Laura

From: Rosa

Date: 4 Dec

Subject: Outraged of Berkhamsted!

Dear Laura

You could have told me!  I did indeed have Lorenzo on the phone, in such a state that I really thought this time he would walk out and leave the firm for good.  He says that while he’s been in China, Massimo’s been plotting with Frank and they’ve spread a load of lies about him.  Result being that mum has just accused him of nicking from the till.  He wasn’t very coherent, but it was something about fiddling his expenses or something.   We all know he does always get a bit of cash back on the company credit card from the petrol station but I thought Massimo was a worse offender.  Anyhow, L didn’t seem to mean that – and of course, he doesn’ t see that as stealing at all, just taking part of his salary in that form – no, this seems to be about something more substantial.  He kept ranting on about a hot tub – saying why he would want one, when he already has one …

Fill me in when you’ve a moment!

Love Rose x

 

                                                                        Family Business Part 8

To: Rosa

From: Laura

Date: 4 Dec

Subject:  A bit of Forensic Accounting

Hi Rosa

The way I’ve heard it (bits from mum, bits from Flora, bits from Lorenzo) – it all started with Frank, who’s been a might too interested in mum’s finances.  We know he’s pushing her to sell the house so that she can liquidate her assets.  He got her to go through the books while Lorenzo and Charlie were in China.  I’m obviously laid up here and Massimo’s never in the office anyhow, so they more or less had the place to themselves.  Frank felt it was too good an opportunity to miss – and after all, mum has taken on the finance director’s role since dad went missing, so I suppose that gave her the impetus she needed.

Anyhow, they came across some ridiculously large credit notes – returns for damaged stock that were way out of the ordinary.  The worst example was a credit note for £10,000 for damaged cushions.  I mean, honestly?  Frank was the one who spotted the scam – “it’s the old dodgy credit note caper, innit?” because while mum is aware of the petty cash going walk about and the inflated charges at the petrol station, she’s not used to proper fraud.    They put two and two together and decided it must be Lorenzo since the metal garden furniture firm that issued the credit note was one of his personal accounts.   Trouble is, I don’t think it is.

The fact is, usually when Lorenzo is up to no good, he’s all bluff and bluster.  Plus, surely he’d never be so stupid as to run such an obvious scam?  I’ve never seen him so hurt.  But if it isn’t Lorenzo, who is it?  It can’t be Charlie, since the fraud predates his arrival and I know it isn’t me (J).  Is it Massimo?  I wouldn’t put it past him – except that it requires quite a lot of follow through and that isn’t his style.

What do you think?

Laura xx

Family Business Part 8

All Family Business episodes…

Other online soaps…